Six benefits to using Zoom with the Howard Hand In Hand program

Stress doesn’t just occur 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, especially if you are a family dealing with a serious illness such as cancer.

St. Joseph’s/Candler and the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion recognize this. As part of the Howard Hand In Hand support program, we started using a service called Zoom and offer it to families needing the Howard Hand In Hand service. 

Skye Cossio, Howard Hand In Hand Children's Social Worker

Howard Hand In Hand was created to provide support, education, guidance and resources to children, teens and families dealing with a terminal or chronic illness. Howard Family Dental pledged $150,000 to the St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundation to ensure children of sick patients get the help they need during a time of distress.

RELATED ARTICLE: Children’s counselor offers advice when talking to your kids when a serious illness strikes your family

Zoom is video and web conferencing with a secure, easy platform across mobile, desktop and room systems. It also is HIPPA compliant.

Zoom allows our Howard Hand In Hand social worker, Skye Cossio, the opportunity to video chat or web message any child or parent when it’s convenient for them to make an appointment. She also can host online group support meetings in a private, secure environment.

“I needed a way to connect to the children and for them to connect with other children,” Cossio says. “We have children that live in South Carolina all the way down to St. Simons, and now we even have a few children that live in California, and they need to connect and talk to myself and other children.

“The purpose of us getting this service is to be there for the kids and to help the family go through this difficult time and to make it a little easier for the children.”

Cossio is excited about using Zoom. She has already put it to good use, counseling families in the region, as well as a family in California who learned about Howard Hand In Hand by a Google search. She is hopeful more parents will take advantage of this free service so she can help as many children in need.

To help you better understand Zoom, Cossio explains six benefits of using Zoom:

1. It’s HIPPA compliant. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. Parents and children can be assured that any medical conditions discussed will be secure and confidential.

2. It’s convenient. The Howard Hand In Hand program will continue to offer in-person group sessions and one-on-one counseling. However, Zoom allows for the convenience to talk to Cossio by appointment even after normal office hours.
“People need options these days,” Cossio says. “We need to be convenient for these families. I always believe I should go to the kids; the kids do not have to come to me. If I make a patient’s life more stressful then I have not done my job right.”

3. It’s free for the community. Every family that needs Howard Hand In Hand services can use Zoom for free. St. Joseph’s/Candler invested in this program over free services like Facetime or Skype for Zoom’s HIPPA compliance and security. Parents or guardians will need to sign a waiver allowing permission for children to communicate with Cossio via Zoom, and an electronic device, such as computer, tablet or smartphone, and Internet signal will be needed.

4. You don’t have to create an account. Zoom does not require an account for those joining meetings that Cossio will start. She will simply provide a nine or 10-digit code that will be entered by clicking “Join A Meeting” on our Zoom home page (sjchs.zoom.us) or through the mobile app, which is free to download.  

5. One-on-one conversations and group sessions are private. In addition to being HIPPA compliant, Zoom conversations are private. Cossio sets up either one-on-one meetings or group sessions and knows exactly who’s been invited and who is participating.

6. It’s easy to use. Whether using Zoom through the website on a desktop or laptop computer or through the mobile app on your tablet or smartphone, Cossio finds Zoom easy to use. She compares it to Google Meet, and says if you are familiar with Skype, you will pick up on Zoom quickly.

For more information on the Howard Hand In Hand program and Zoom, visit our website

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000